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Hawaii jobless rate held steady at 4.4% in November

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:00 p.m. HST, Dec 18, 2013

Hawaii's seasonally unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.4 percent in November from October, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported today.

The jobless rate peaked at 7.1 percent in the summer of 2009 during the last recession, and had been slowly declining since then. The rate has been under 5 percent for most of this year.

The DLIR report included several positive signs for the Hawaii economy. The state's labor force grew by 3,300 in November to 651,400, according to the report. That increase included 2,850 employed and 500 who were unemployed, but looking for work.

 Nationally, the unemployment rate fell to 7 percent in November from 7.3 percent in October.

The state and national numbers are adjusted for seasonal factors, such as retailers hiring temporary sales staff for the holiday shopping season. County jobs data are not seasonally adjusted.

The report showed that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.2 percent in Honolulu County. It also was unchanged at 5.5 percent in Maui County. The rate fell to 6.2 percent from 6.3 percent in Hawaii County and to 4.9 percent to 5 percent in Maui County.

The unemployment rate is derived largely from a monthly telephone survey of households. A separate survey of businesses showed that the number of payroll jobs in Hawaii rose by 1,100 in November from October, and by 5,200 from November 2012.

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